“I am remarkably lucky to be at Colgate.”
These were the words of President Brian Casey as he spoke last weekend to members of the alumni council. I love this so much because this is the exact feeling I get every time I drive up 12b on my way to Colgate. This is my happy place … the grass is greener here, the sun shines brighter (even on a cloudy day) and the pizza even tastes better!
A member of the administration had some interesting observations when interviewing for a current position at Colgate. Comments such as “It’s a beautiful campus, IF you can handle the weather” or “It’s a great community, IF you like a really small town.” They rightly questioned, “Why are there so many disclaimers? And why are we not celebrating all of those things?” Colgate is amazing because it’s an intimate community where everyone knows your name. It’s a friendly face wherever you go. It’s a campus spectacular in any season. It’s what makes Colgate my home away from home, as well as all of yours.
It wasn’t until my senior year that I realized what it really meant. I was born and raised in New York City. And even if you aren’t from the City, you remember where you were on that tragic September 11 morning in 2001. In the months that followed, countless alums and parents came up to campus to find comfort. One of those alums was my father, Bob Raiber ’68, who was a first responder. After many weeks of working with the victims of 9/11, my dad came up to spend time with me and the community in Hamilton. Those were some of the darkest days in our country’s history, yet amazingly we could find some comfort and sunshine in the grey skies of Colgate. We were all there for each other.
I now live three thousand miles away in sunny California but Colgate is, and will forever be, my home away from home. I am grateful to President Casey for the reminder that we are all remarkably lucky to be at Colgate and I would add that we are remarkably lucky to always have this university in our hearts.